Friday, April 15, 2011

Invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

This morning on ABC news they had a story on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug infesting a house in Maryland

This man has thousands in his attic, and although they are harmless he has to sleep with a face guard after one crawled into his mouth one night. Invading homes seems to be a behavior that they engage in in winter months to escape the cold: 

Invasive stink bugs collected in Knoxville, MD home
National Wildlife Federation’s senior scientist, Doug Inkley, has his own challenge with BMSBs. In a period of two months, Dr. Inkley found over 16,000 stink bugs in his home.

This insect was introduced in the united states, probably in the mid 90ś from Asia. Since its first capture in 1998 has sped to 33 states and is expected to be in all lower 48 states in a decade.  

Management For BMSB In Homes (
Pennsylvania State University )

Damage :

Stink Bug Apple Damage

Stink Bug Damage

2010 US population increase

Higher than normal numbers of stink bugs have been reported in the eastern half of the United States. The following are some of the possible reasons for the dramatic population increase:
  • Stink bugs typically have four generations per growing season in Asia, and one after transplantation to the US, but an unusually warm and early spring and summer have apparently allowed them to produce two generations in this growing season in regions like Maryland and Northern Virginia.
  • The extra generation means that some states are seeing more bugs in more places than in previous seasons. Adults are living longer, depositing eggs longer and maturing more generations to lay even more eggs.
The higher than normal population has caused some of the following environmental problems:
  • The insects have started attacking fruit and trees in orchards in southern and eastern Pennsylvania, which had not been seen in previous years.
  • Bugs pierce the fruit’s outer surface and suck out juices while injecting saliva. The suction and saliva create a dimpling of the fruit’s surface, and rotting and corking of the flesh underneath.
  • The fruit is not salable because of appearance, but the dimpled area is not poisonous to humans.
  • The bugs attack numerous types of plants – including soy beans, lima beans and sweet corn—but fruit show the damage more quickly and orchard owners monitor for damage more closely. Little is known about what these insects do in the wild.


They are already causing substantial crop damage.

UPDATED: Apple stink bug damage totals $37 million

Foul Stink Bug Targets Wine Grapes

Stink Bugs generally are able to assist in the transmission of disease, and in this the BMSB ( Brown Marmorated Stink Bug ) may very well excel.

Heteroptera as vectors of plant pathogens


Two articles on how the stinkbugs are not so tolerant to high temperatures and a natural predator from more southern areas that keeps them at bay. Probably both factors, along with human provided winter shelter that have assisted in their new found success in some areas.


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